When I set out for Lyonnesse




When I set out for Lyonnesse :


As a young apprentice architect, British poet and novelist Thomas Hardy once visited a parish to supervise the restoration of a church. On his return from the parish, people noticed two things about him — a new glow in his eyes and a crumpled piece of paper sticking out of his coat pocket. That paper, it is recorded in one of his biographies, contained the draft of a poem. You are going to read that very poem inspired by a visit to a place which the poet calls Lyonnesse.


When I set out for Lyonnesse

A hundred miles away,

The rime was on the spray;

And starlight lit my lonesomeness

When I set out for Lyonnesse

A hundred miles away.

What would bechance at Lyonnesse

While I should sojourn there,

No prophet durst declare;

Nor did the wisest wizard guess

What would bechance at Lyonnesse

While I should sojourn there.

When I returned from Lyonnesse

With magic in my eyes,

All marked with mute surmise

My radiance rare and fathomless,

When I returned from Lyonnesse

With magic in my eyes.


THOMAS HARDY


The word POETRY originates from a Greek word meaning TO MAKE. A poet is thus a maker and the poem something that is made or created. No single definition of poetry is possible but some characteristic features of poetry may be mentioned. Poetry has a musical quality with rhythm, pitch, metre and it may use figures of speech such as simile and metaphor. While quite a few poems in this selection are in traditional forms, the unit also includes modern poems that are free from formal restrictions.


Here is a list of English Poems written by various authors. Whatever the question is, poetry may be the answer. Writers say poetry provides them with comfort, a way to express themselves and the discipline of finding the essence with few words. Writing the poem (and finding just the right word) is the measure of success that the authors use. Really good poetry is instinctive. It’s who you are. It’s from the heart. You need to expose yourself to all kinds of poets and you may find your motivation and muse that way. Poetry gets to the core meaning. Poetry expands ideas.


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